Odd-Even implemented in Delhi from Nov 13-17, UT declares pollution emergency

With air quality index in the national capital and surrounding regions surpassing ‘severe’ levels, authorities on Thursday implemented the odd-even rule again to curb vehicular pollution.

Since Tuesday, the national capital region has witnessed a drastic increase in smog – a mixture of air pollution, fog and smoke – that forced the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to declare a medical emergency.

The authorities, including Delhi lieutenant Governor Anil Baijlal, took a call on the reintroduction of the rule first observed in January 2016.

The move was implemented earlier to curb vehicular pollution; however, this time the emergency situation is expected to further deteriorate in comparison to last year. This time, the measure has been mulled to tackle ‘severe plus’ levels of air pollution.

Under the rule, non-commercial or private vehicles are allowed to traverse on the streets of the capital on alternate days only; on odd days if the number plate of the vehicle ends in an odd number and the same goes for even-numbered vehicles.

It must be noted that the government authorities have taken cognisance of the escalating emergency, banned entry of heavy vehicles – except those carrying essentials – and stopped all civil construction work in Delhi.

It has come to light that the two aforementioned measures were implemented after a suggestion from EPCA member Sunita Narain.

The situation in Noida, Delhi and surrounding regions have witnessed a major increase in air pollution with PM 10 and PM2.5 in crossing hazardous levels in many areas. In the wake of the situation, several schools in the affected regions have been given a break till Sunday.

The IMA has advised people to not step out of their houses unless there is any compulsion. It has also advised citizens to wear masks if they are stepping out of their houses.

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